A couple of days ago, we wrote a story about EDSA’s new dedicated bicycle lane. Unfortunately for motorcycle riders, if you are caught inside it, it could cost you up to Ph ₱1,000 in fines, including a possible suspension of your driver’s license.
While this is a welcome development for cyclists and electric kick scooter riders, most motorcycle riders, on the other hand, think this will do little to change their apparent disregard for road rules. If the comments section of our social media page is anything to go by, many still believe cyclists are undisciplined.
Since cyclists are not required to apply for a license, many of them might be unaware that they're violating common traffic laws and also putting themselves in danger. They cannot be penalized or fined, making it all the more tempting for them to weave in and out of their lane, ignore traffic lights, counterflow dangerously, and many more traffic violations.
To instill some discipline into "active transport" users like cyclists, electric kick scooter riders, and similar kinds of commuters, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), in partnership with SM Supermalls, formally launched DOTr-SM Bike Manual to be distributed nationwide to thousands of road users.
The Active Transport (bicycle) Manual is a passport-sized booklet, which aims to educate cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, and other road users about safety, courtesy, and etiquette while using the country’s roads. For the pilot launch, around 140,000 published copies in English and Filipino will be distributed for free in all SM Malls nationwide.
The biker's manual highlights important safety guidelines and pointers for cyclists. These include the use of safety gear, regular bicycle inspection and maintenance, the use of hand signals, identifying blind spots to avoid crashes, how to make safe right turns, and road/traffic protocols.
The biker's manual, along with other information campaign material, is primarily based on the Active Transport Guidelines initiated by the DOTr. This project was also made possible with the support of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Move as One Coalition.
“The DOTr will continue to support the use of active transportation as a viable addition to existing modes of transportation,” said DOTr secretary, Arthur Tugade.
“Across all SM Supermalls, there are now more than 500 bike racks and more than 80 repair stations nationwide, and now, thanks to our partnership with the DOTr, and the support of all other partners, we are here to launch the next phase of our project, which is the DOTr-SM Bike Manual,” added SM Supermalls president, Steven Tan.
To date, a total of 296 kilometers of bike lanes have been completed with pavement markings, bollards, curbs, and solar studs. Secretary Tugade assured that before 2021 ends, its target of 535 kilometers of bike lanes will be completed across NCR, Cebu, and Davao.